The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) has issued a letter of demand to the City of Tshwane calling for immediate action on the substandard potable water supplied by Magalies Water to Hammanskraal residents.
“OUTA instructed an independent SANAS-accredited water laboratory to conduct a random water sample in Hammanskraal. The results indicate that the water is not fit for consumption. The sample was taken on 5 July 2019 at the Hammanskraal Metro Police Regional Office in Region 2,” says Julius Kleynhans, Operations Executive at OUTA.
The community of Hammanskraal recently approached OUTA to monitor the quality of their potable water to ensure oversight of the Magalies Water Board and the City of Tshwane because of concerns about the water safety.
The results indicated high concentrations of nitrites (NO₂) and nitrates (NO₃) which pose a chronic health risk to some babies. A diet adequate in Vitamin C partially protects against the adverse effects of these chemicals. The results found a total viable count of 8720 CFU/ml, which is far higher than the accredited standard of <1000 CFU/ml for healthy water. This is an indicator of the presence of microorganisms such as bacteria in the water, though no E. coli was found.
“The water quality is worse than in December 2018 when the community raised the same concerns. We call on Tshwane to take urgent action on this matter,” says Kleynhans.
“We saw government in denial and stand-offs before and after the national election. Citizens must stand up and demand their rights. We must all have access to safe drinking water.”
The samples were based on the assessment of variables analysed in comparison to the SANS 241-1:2015 Drinking Water Standard (SABS, 2015) and the quality of domestic water supply (WRC, 1998). The tested water sample was found not fit for use as potable water and for domestic use.
The residents told OUTA that the Tshwane metro has violated their right to human dignity and access to clean water.
OUTA was established to challenge corruption and maladministration, in particular the abuse of taxpayers’ money. OUTA is not affiliated to any political party but mandated by ordinary citizens to act in the interest of the public at large.